I've moaned before about the way Facebook will send you an email every time a Facebook user sends you a message, but that the site still requires you to log-in to actually read the message. Other systems, such as Basecamp, print the message in the email too. Although, replying still requires a log-in.
Now Facebook has gone one annoying step further, and wants to take-over the role of email completely. From the official blog:
If you're like most people, you may have a few stubborn friends who haven't joined Facebook…yet. This can make reaching friends complicated—there are some friends you can send a Facebook message, and others you have to email. Not anymore. Now, when you're writing messages, you can send the message to people on Facebook, and to people not on Facebook.
Now you can enter a friend's email address into the To: line when you send a message or share an album, and Facebook will email them the message. Your friends will be able to reply without signing up...
So essentially, Facebook wants to become your in-box, rather than accepting that you might already have one -- in my case my beloved gmail -- and would prefer to have it so that Facebook messages can be read and replied to from there.
This is another sign of Facebook stealthly attempting to become a WebOS for a social networking generation.
Mike Arrington, over at TechCrunch, isn't satisfied either.